N4C Weekly Briefing
25 - 31 January 2023
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Voluntary carbon markets: a misunderstood climate solution [Commentary]
Eco-Business, Sandeep Roy Choudhury, 30 January
Eco-Business publishes a commentary from Sandeep Roy Choudhury, co-founder of VNV Advisory Services, who drills into the purpose of voluntary carbon markets, arguing that they're voluntary actions by corporate climate leaders to help finance urgent climate action across the world. Choudhury questions the pushback against carbon markets which overlooks the valuable stream of finance they provide frontline communities in the Global South to reduce their emissions too. Carbon Pulse carries a commentary from Edward Mitchard, professor of global change mapping at the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, and chief scientist of service provider Space Intelligence, who argues that carbon markets can be tricky but are necessary to address emissions quickly. The London School of Economics and Political Science and Grantham Institute shares a commentary exploring how the net mitigation benefits of carbon credits can be achieved despite the variable and uncertain quality of credits in the current market. BusinessGreen shares a letter from 49 different organizations representing a mix of developers, ratings platforms, NGOs, marketplaces, intermediaries, and industry bodies supporting high-integrity carbon markets. Niklas Kaskeala, co-founder of Compensate, weighed in on LinkedIn suggesting that the claims able to be made with REDD credits is changed. Rich Gilmore, CEO of Carbon Growth Partners, explains why "junk" credits are a smaller problem than many think.
The Guardian shares letters from readers responding to its article claiming more than 90% of Verra's forest conservation credits were unverifiable. Mongabay covers the confusion the business community faces when considering whether carbon markets are a worthwhile investment. Energy Monitor shares a new report by Imperial College Business School and forest carbon accelerator Terraformation that finds investors in forest carbon credits can reduce their financial risk and increase returns by establishing diversified investment portfolios in the tropics. Carbon Pulse covers a statement from Norway sharing their support for jurisdictional REDD+ carbon credits. Climate Advisers shares six trends to watch that will set the narrative around carbon credits in 2023.
Al Jazeera carries a commentary from Vijay Kolinjivadi, post-doctoral fellow at the University of Antwerp, who describes the voluntary carbon market and many other popular climate solutions as a calculated practice by the private sector to appease those who care about climate change without actually investing in system changes necessary to reduce emissions.
Follow The Money provides a deep dive report on South Pole's largest carbon credit project that they claim has overstated its carbon reductions worth millions of dollars based on internal call recordings it recovered from South Pole's team. Carbon Pulse reports that South Pole has paused offset sales from this REDD+ project as it revalidates the project's baseline assumptions.
Human activity and drought ‘degrading more than a third of Amazon rainforest’
The Guardian, Jonathan Watts, 26 January
The Guardian reports that human activity and drought may have degraded more than a third of the Amazon rainforest, double the previous estimate, according to a new study. This analysis found fires, land conversion, logging and water shortages, have weakened the resilience of up to 2.5m sq km of the forest, an area 10 times the size of the UK. UOL notes that Brazilian forest fires in 2022 reached the peak of the Jair Bolsonaro government in 2022 and destroyed 2.8 million hectares, according to data released today by the Fire Monitor of MapBiomas. The number is 93% higher compared to 2021. Mongabay shows how an illegal road in Indigenous Yanomani Brazilian territory in the Amazon fuelled the illegal gold mining that led to human rights abuses and accusations of genocide against the Bolsonaro administration. Reuters reports that Brazil's president announced a new initiative to crackdown on transportation of supplies to illegal gold miners in the Yanomami reservation in northern Brazil, hoping to force out the wildcat miners who have caused a humanitarian crisis among the area's Indigenous people. Yale Environment 360 shares a study that once again confirms Indigenous management of land in Brazil stops forest loss and improves forest health. The Guardian reports that Brazilians are starting to feel hope again that their nation can prevent a collapse in the Amazon rainforest after several years of increasing deforestation. Valor shares comments made by economist Jeffrey Sachs who claims the world is ready to see a thriving and sustainable bioeconomy developed in Brazil. Reuters reports that Germany pledged 200 million euros ($217 million) to help Brazil defend the Amazon rainforest. The announcement came when German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Brasilia and became the first Western leader to visit since President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in on Jan. 1.
Biden Bans Roads and Logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest
The New York Times, Lisa Friedman, 25 January
The New York Times covers the Biden administration's decision to ban logging and road-building on about nine million acres of the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska, aiming to settle a two-decade battle over the fate of North America’s largest temperate rainforest. Grist digs into the future of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska and why the Biden administration's new decision may not provide permanent protections. The Washington Post reports on the announcement from the US Environmental Protection Agency that it has formally restricted mining in the area, possibly delivering a final blow to the controversial Pebble Mine project, to protect one of the world’s biggest salmon spawning grounds in Bristol Bay in Alaska. E&E News notes that while the Pebble Mine project may be stopped, there are still risks facing Bristol Bay in the future. The Washington Post also reports that the Biden administration is banning mining for 20 years in a giant watershed near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
BusinessGreen covers the UK's new Environmental Improvement Plan that sets out how it intends to deliver on the various targets set out in the Environment Act and honour its pledge to "leave our environment in a better state than we found it". The plan includes a host of new goals and initiatives designed to deliver on targets set through the government's recently adopted Environment Act, Agriculture Act, and Fisheries Act, as well as its new international commitment to reverse nature loss, which the UK signed up to as part of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework that was agreed late last year. BusinessGreen also shares a round up of the reactions from politicians, campaigners, and green business leaders to this new UK five-year environmental policy plan.
Natural capital earns investor interest
GreenBiz, Grant Harrison, 25 January
GreenBiz reports that institutional investors across the globe are expressing more interest in understanding and investing in natural capital, which national economies and investors have historically neglected. Fortune shares a commentary from Nick Studer, CEO of global management consultancy Oliver Wyman Group, arguing that investors and businesses should care about more than just carbon when it comes to nature as half of global GDP relies on nature. Edie covers the increasing demand from investors that portfolio companies report on the forest and water impacts of their businesses.
We pulled pandas back from the brink of extinction. Meanwhile, the rest of nature collapsed.
Vox, Benji Jones, 25 January
Vox dives into the history of the nature conservation movement from the 1960s to present day exploring how our focus on saving 'star' species like the giant panda blinded us to other nature loss. "In the time that environmental advocates were saving pandas, much of the rest of the planet’s wildlife continued to deteriorate. The world now faces an unprecedented and accelerating crisis of biodiversity loss, with more than 1 million species at risk of extinction. Forests are quieter. The oceans are emptier." The full article is a critical look at the nature conservation movement's historical tactics
Ahead of the Feb. 10th summit between President Lula of Brazil and President Biden of the US, join Climate Advisers and other experts from both countries to discuss expectations for conservation and climate action. Together we will look at the potential of a revived partnership to protect the Amazon rainforest and other critical ecosystems.
Experts will share policy asks and recommendations from US and Brazilian civil society that have been shared with the Lula and Biden administrations ahead of the summit. The event will also look ahead to what Presidents Lula and Biden might be able to accomplish together in the years to come.
DATE: Monday February 6th
TIME: 10 AM EST | 12 PM BRT | 4 PM CET
A FRESH PERSPECTIVE
We are working to use this platform to share more diverse voices and perspectives in the global discourse around NCS. As part of this effort we are starting a new section in the newsletter that will highlight opinions and messages from stakeholders not normally covered in major media outlets. If you see an interesting perspective that you think more people should hear, please share it with us. Opinions shared do not necessarily represent the views of Nature4Climate.
Forest Equity: What Indigenous People Want from Carbon Credits
Interview with Levi Sucre Romero, Yale Environment 360
"It [carbon markets] could be a real advance if it is done right. But what concerns us is how the new protected areas are going to be established. In our view, the rules being developed do not yet sufficiently require consulting with us or fully ensure our free, prior, and informed consent. That is really worrying for Indigenous peoples especially, because most of us do not have legal title to our territories."
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
World Resources Institute shares a new brief, "How UNFCCC Parties Can Act on Forests’ Non-Carbon Climate Effects", showcasing how parties to the UNFCCC can capitalize on the benefits forests provide beyond carbon storage.
Natural Resources Defence Council publishes their annual scorecard grading U.S. toilet paper, paper towel, and facial tissue brands on their environmental impacts.
Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) shares that it has approved the TREES Concept for Ethiopia's jurisdictional REDD+ program and two TREES Documents for Guyana posted publicly on the ART Registry.
KPMG publishes a post on the evolving standards and frameworks the private sector must prepare for when it comes to financial regulations that will require disclosure of nature-related impacts.
Proforest shares new guidance to support cocoa companies with emerging EU Deforestation Due Diligence (DDD) regulations.
Tropenbos International calls for articles on successful agroforestry for its 62nd Tropical Forest Issues publication. The deadline to submit an outline is 28 February.
Global Canopy, UNEP-FI and UNEP-WCMC share the The ENCORE tool meant to help users understand how businesses in all sectors of the economy depend upon and impact nature. It also explores how these impacts can pose a business risk.
GreenBiz releases its State of Green Business 2023 report, which analyzes 10 key trends to watch in 2023. These trends reflect several environmental and sustainability topics, such as transportation, carbon removal, the circular economy, climate tech, sustainable food systems, renewable energy and more.
BusinessGreen opens up the call for nominations for their UK Green Business Awards, to be held in June 2023. The deadline for submissions is 24 February.
World Resources Institute shares an open call for entrepreneurs to participate in its Land Accelerator program. The Land Accelerator is a training program and curated network for entrepreneurs who restore degraded forests and farmland. It is anchored by an intensive week-long workshop when the cohort meets in person.
|Taking Root’s CommuniTree program in Nicaragua helps brands meet their climate commitments by working with farming families to grow forests on previously under used-land. The program is built around putting the needs of the farmers first, helping them grow native tree species to create sustainable livelihoods from forest-based enterprises. Taking Root uses its technology platform to combine in-field mobile surveys with remote sensing data, using advanced geospatial and machine learning analytics to deliver trusted third-party forest and carbon assessments. The program has become the largest reforestation initiative in Nicaragua, growing 10 million trees, sequestering 1.5M tonnes of carbon on 7,000 hectares of degraded land and driving over $6M in payments to thousands of participating farmers. Hailed as a best-practice approach by the EU and UN, Taking Root’s model from the CommuniTree project is now being applied with thousands of farmers across all 3 tropical continents.
N4C is compiling an index of NBS case studies, together with an interactive map, to highlight action on the ground. Each week, we will be choosing a case study to present, to help give concrete examples of work being done to bring NBS theory into practice.
NUMBER OF THE WEEK
A new study finds that 2.5 million square kilometers of the Amazon rainforest, an area 10 times the size of the UK, has been weakened and is severely threatened by climate change and human activity.
In this section, we'll be posting NBS-related jobs as a service to the community. If you have an opportunity you'd like featured in the newsletter, please send the details to us.
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Integrating carbon stocks and landscape connectivity for nature‐based climate solutions
Ecology and Evolution, Paul O'Brien, John S. Gunn, Alison Clark, Jenny Gleeson, Richard Pither, & Jeff Bowman, 9 January
Nature is being cordoned off from the people who would protect it most
Business Green, Caroline Lucas, 30 January
Democratic, Republican drilling prohibition bills return
E&E News, Manuel Quiñones, 31 January
Rare case of rhino poaching jolts conservation community in Nepal
Mongabay, Abhaya Raj Joshi, 23 January
Portugal agrees to swap Cape Verde’s debt for environmental investment
Climate Change News, Reuters & Joe Lo, 24 January
How will India achieve the new global goals for nature?
Eco-Business, Rishika Pardikar, 30 January
Indigenous and Local Communities
A Copper Mine Could Advance Green Energy but Scar Sacred Land
New York Times, Clifford Krauss, 27 January
Amazon’s least-deforested areas are due to ‘vital role’ of Indigenous peoples
Carbon Brief, Yanine Quiroz, 27 January
Saving Kenya’s Oloolua Forest
China Dialogue, Sophie Mbugua, 30 January
Indigenous communities with strong territorial rights can resist land grabs in Brazil's fragmented Atlantic Forest
Phys.org, 26 January
Lula blames Bolsonaro for Yanomami hunger, opens ‘genocide’ probe
Washington Post, Victoria Bisset, 24 January
The best way to save forests? Legally recognize Indigenous lands.
Grist, Joseph Lee, 26 January
Blueberry River First Nations beat B.C. in court. Now everything’s changing
The Narwhal, Matt Simons, 25 January
Colombia’s ‘tree of life’ births a new culinary and conservation movement
Mongabay, Ocean Malandra, 23 January
Indigenous communities in Latin America decry the Mennonites’ expanding land occupation
Mongabay, Alexa Eunoé Vélez Zuazo, 26 January
Tired of being told to ‘adapt,’ an Indigenous community wrote its own climate action plan
Grist, Carly Graf, 26 January
Landmark deals give Indigenous key role in Canada resource projects
Guardian, Leyland Cecco, 22 January
Poisoned by pesticides: Health crisis deepens in Brazil’s Indigenous communities
Mongabay, Aimee Gabay, 16 January 2023
Ghana Begins Receiving Payments for Reducing Carbon Emissions in Forest Landscapes
World Bank, 24 January
Investor group bans carbon removal from CO2 reduction plans
Reuters, Virginia Furness, 31 January
Alaska governor unveils bill to create forest offset programme, targets 2025 start
Carbon Pulse, Matt Lithgow, 30 January
Cookstove projects a 'real problem' as they overstate reductions: report
Quantum Commodity Intelligence, 31 January
Brazilian state may recover land 10 times larger than Sao Paolo
Quantum Commodity Intelligence, 30 January
PNG set to finalise REDD+ guidelines by end-March
Quantum Commodity Intelligence, 31 January
ART approves concept for Uganda, plans co-benefits certification
Quantum Commodity Intelligence, 31 January
Voluntary Carbon Credits Market Can Be Worth $1 Trillion in 2037
Carbon Credits, Jennifer L, 25 January
EU carbon removals plan lacks sufficient safeguards for offsetting, say researchers
Carbon Pulse, 27 January
Race is on to teach business how to navigate the biodiversity crisis
Carbon Pulse, Stian Reklev & Katherine Monahan, 27 January
This Week’s Tech and Tools News: High-Level Principles for Biodiversity Credits
ESG Investor, 27 January
AFRICA: should forest carbon offsetting continue after all?
Afrik 21, Jean Marie Takouleu, 25 January
ANALYSIS: Avoidance versus removals debate reignites amid REDD over-crediting concerns
Carbon Pulse, 26 January
Ratings agency urges UN to learn “lessons” from voluntary carbon market for Article 6 crediting
Carbon Pulse, 26 January
Senken Starts Sale Of World’s First Carbon Forward Tokens
Carbon Herald, Violet George, 30 January
Strategies Driving Net-Zero Goals to Boost Carbon Credit Trading Platform Market Between 2022-2027
Yahoo! News, 24 January
Fauna & Flora, Plan Vivo outline high-integrity principles for biodiversity market
Carbon Pulse, 26 January
Investigation faults Liberian agency protecting rainforest
Associated Press, Ed Davey, 24 January
New pipelines will fragment Assam’s protected forests, say environmentalists
Eco-Business, Gurvinder Singh, 31 January
In a warming world, California’s trees keep dying
High Country News, Maya Kapoor, 30 January
Inside the Fight to Save the Peruvian Amazon From Big Oil
Rolling Stone, Josh Fox, 30 January
Republican governors call on Biden to delay implementation of clean water rule
The Hill, Zack Budryk, 30 January
How a defunct Trump policy still threatens Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp
Grist, Jessie Blaeser, 31 January
COP15: Biodiversity loss, the sixth great extinction and the need for action
Green Left, Susan PriceMarc Bonhomme, 23 January
Washington’s Hinman Glacier gone after thousands of years
Associated Press, 30 January
Death in the marshes: environmental calamity hits Iraq’s unique wetlands
Guardian, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, 29 January
Status of deforestation of Madagascar
Global Ecology and Conservation, Amanda Suzzi-Simmons
On Sumatra coast, mangrove clearing sparks scrutiny of loophole
Mongabay, Teguh Suprayitno, 30 January
Oil Drilled in the Amazon Rainforest Ends Up in California
The New York Times, Caitrin Einhorn, 25 January
Risk of intact forest landscape loss goes beyond global agricultural supply chains
One Earth, 20 January
Experts call for greater urgency from private sector on biodiversity
Carbon Pulse, Roy Manuell, 30 January
Even in recovery, previously logged tropical forests are carbon sources: Study
Mongabay, Carolyn Cowan, 25 January
From Japan to Brazil: Reforesting the Amazon with the Miyawaki method
Mongabay, Nieves Zúñiga, 24 January
Tropical wetland countries refine forest reference emission levels (FREL)
Forest News, 30 January
How can nature-based solutions help cities achieve their climate goals? [Commentary]
Carbon Brief, Sean Goodwin, 30 January
Forests bioengineered to capture more carbon will be planted in the US
New Scientist, James Dinneen, 30 January
The second green revolution will be digitised [Commentary]
Eco-Business, Maximo Torero, 31 January
Logging is imminent in an area home to a threatened bison herd in northern Alberta
The Narwhal, Drew Anderson, 23 January
Feinstein urges updated biomass maps for renewable fuel
E&E News, Marc Heller, 30 January
Logging threats loom over tree kangaroo refuge in Papua New Guinea
Mongabay, John Cannon, 25 January
Study identifies priority forests in Oregon for max conservation benefit
Mongabay, Liz Kimbrough, 24 January
How forest guards in Liberia protect the sacred rainforests
NPR, Ricci Shyrock, 29 January
Elephants promote jumbo trees, boosting the carbon stores in Africa’s forests
Mongabay, Malavika Vyawahare, 27 January
5 reasons why sustainable timber must become a core global building material
WEF, Stephanie Burrell, 24 January
TLA: Lumber Price Outlook For 2023; How Realistic Are Forecasts?
Business Examiner, Peace Cariboo Skeena and Thompson Okanagan, 6 January
Could timber workplaces help draw people back to the office?
Business Green, Cecilia Keating, 25 January
Agriculture and Soil Health
G.T. Thompson’s tightrope walk to a farm bill
Politico, Garrett Downs, 30 January
The Field Report: The Future of Organic Food Is Taking Shape at the USDA—and Beyond
Civil Eats, Lisa Held, 25 January
Does Pastoralism Have a Place in the Future of Food?
Civil Eats, Kayla Frost, 24 January
Reducing global land-use pressures with seaweed farming [study]
Nature, Scott Spillias, Hugo Valin, Miroslav Batka, Frank Sperling, Petr Havlík, David Leclère, Richard S. Cottrell, Katherine R. O’Brien, & Eve McDonald-Madden, 26 January
World Economic Forum’s Davos Conference Talks Food Systems
Food Tank, Max Sano
From ashes to fly larvae, new ideas aim to revive farm soil
Reuters, Rod Nickel, 30 January
Government confirms plan to accelerate roll out of Sustainable Farming Incentive
BusinessGreen, James Murray, 26 January
New York to Expand Composting Citywide, Targeting Trash and Rats
New York Times, Dana Rubinstein and Emma G. Fitzsimmons, 25 January
English farms to get post-Brexit subsidies for conservation
Bloomberg, 27 January
Endangered foods: why our diet is narrower than ever – and the UK urgently needs to save these seven foods
Guardian, Claire Finney, 23 January
The science is clear: We need an ambitious, undelayed pesticides regulation
Euractiv, Jeroen Candel, 23 January
Fenland fields leaking carbon emissions as drought threatens soil
Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit, George Smeeton, 24 January
Food giants at risk of ‘greenwashing’ over regenerative agricultural practices: report warns
Food Navigator, Oliver Morrison, 31 January
The future of food and agriculture – Drivers and triggers for transformation
Date: 1 February
Host: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), IFPRI, and the CGIAR Research Initiative on Foresight
Forest Data Partnership: Aligning and Innovating for a Shared Data Ecosystem
Date: 6 February
Host: World Resources Institute
Due diligence and deforestation: An introduction
Date: 7 February
2023 Sustainable Agriculture Conference
Date: 8-11 February
Host: Pasa Sustainable Agriculture
Date: 9 February
Host: Tropical Forest Alliance
South American Carbon Markets
Date: 15 February
Forest 500 Annual Report 2023 Launch
Date: 15 February
Host: Forest 500
Women in Sustainability Leadership Conference
Date: 16 February
Host: WSLC Alumnae Group
Rebalance Earth - Natural Capital Conference
Date: 21 February
Host: Natural Capital Conference
Mind the Gap! National climate pledges overstep on available land
Date: 21 February
Host: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Panel discussion: 'Sustainable food: creating a food system for healthy people and planet'
Date: 22 February
Host: Oxford Martin School
GLF 6th Investment case symposium: Registration
Date: 7 March
Host: Global Landscapes Forum
Natural Capital Investment 2023
Date: 23 March
Host: Environmental Finance
International Mass Timber Conference
Date: 27-29 March
Host: International Mass Timber Conference
Circularity: Accelerating the Circular Economy
Date: 5-7 June
Nature4Climate's Weekly Briefing summarises content from international media outlets (and our partner organisations) on stories, developments and events that relate to nature-based solutions. Our editorial policy is to circulate articles and opinion pieces whether we agree or disagree with viewpoints represented. Please submit NCS jobs, news, reports and events for the newsletter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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